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Wednesday 30 November 2005 - Death by ISP, hpHosts Online officially launched!, TeMerc forums attacked
Death by ISP

It's hard enough sometimes, to so much as get an idea off the ground and watch it grow with enormous popularity, then have it ripped from under you, but to see the same thing twice?.

iHost was an extremely popular free file hosting service, launched toward the end of 2003 that unfortunately, saw more than it's fair share of abuse. First in May 2004 when my site's main hosts (FastHosts) shut it down without warning due to iHost users uploading files they weren't supposed to be uploading (at the time I did not have the means to properly check the files headers), then again in July 2004 when FastHosts yet again, took the site down without warning (after enquiring, I found out users were bypassing the filter I had put in place after the first issue, by simply changing the extension of the file).

Alas, it seems iHost was not to be as yet again, and this time BEFORE it has even been re-launched, the service has been given a kick in the teeth - this time by PlusNet.

Due to the introduction of PlusNet's new SUP (Sustainable Usage Policy), iHost is no longer a feasible service. Prior to it's shutting down in 2004, and at the height of it's popularity, iHost was using on average, 1TB (Terabyte) of bandwidth. Naturally, had PlusNet not introduced the SUP, iHost would have been introduced with measures to ensure this rather enormous amount of bandwidth, was not used. However, the 100GB (Gigabyte) (30GB peak time / 70GB off peak) means iHost would have to be given restrictions that would see it's usefulness practically diminished, especially where users files were popular.

At the present time, I cannot afford a dedicated server for iHost, so have (for now atleast), sent it on a permanent vacation. I will of course keep you upto date is and when this status changes.

hpHosts Online officially launched!

I am proud to announce the launch of a brand new online service known as hpHosts online. This service has been developed partially to allow quick confirmation before reporting site's for inclusion, but also to provide a means for others to confirm whether or not a site is included in the hpHosts file, including those that are not actually using it themselves, but may for example, be trying to help diagnose a problematic website connection for someone else.

At present, this database only includes hostnames, however, I shall be spending as much time as I can, getting additional information on each site, into the database (i.e. why the site is listed, and it's last used IP address).

Provision has also been made for both wild card searches (e.g. *microsoft.*) and direct vURL lookup. Additional options are also available (with more on the way), such as requesting the removal of a hostname, or submitting hostnames for inclusion. Of course, should you notice something missing that you feel would be useful, please do not hesitate to request it.

Visit hpHosts online at: http://mysteryfcm.co.uk/hphod

I would also like to extend a thankyou to the ladies and gents on the hpHosts forums for their rather unexpected (and suprising) offer of making myself a moderator on the forums. I hope I never give you cause to regret doing such.

TeMerc forums attacked

Bot's are the big bad of late, and today is no exception. Earlier this evening, TeMerc Internet Countermeasures forums were the unfortunate target of a "registration bot" that caused the forums to be taken offline.

Though back briefly, the forums were taken offline again around 2 hours ago in order to allow a cleanup operation to remove the rogue registrations from the forums database, along with an upgrade and backup of the forums software.

From Tom (TeMerc founder) came the following
"Well, because I have not updated the phpBB version, I got attacked via a 'registration' bot, and had about 700 users added to the site.

Had to disable the boards and was trying to get a mod to work so I can delete the rogue users enmasse, but was unable to do so. So I have been deleting them manually, loads of fun. Almost done have about 250 or so to go, then I must upgrade the boards to activate the 'visual confirmation'.

Not fun but I hope to have things up and running by late morning or early afternoon. We'll see.
Though still offline at the time of writing, we expect the forums to be back online within the next few hours.
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